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How to Care for Your Green Basilisk

How to Care for Your Green Basilisk


Green Basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) are large, diurnal, arboreal reptiles native to Central and South America. They are generally 2-3’ long, most of which is tail and are a bit larger than brown and striped basilisks which are also often kept. Not surprisingly, due to their name, Green Basilisks are primarily green, with black, white or turquoise markings on their sides. Males have a green crest on their heads and a green “fin” running down their backs. Due to their size, they should be considered to be advanced level pets.



Adult Green Basilisks require large enclosures, with a minimal size of 4’x4’x6’ tall. Since these lizards are arboreal, they also require sturdy branches to enable them to climb and bask. The enclosure should have a substrate of mulch or peat which will help to maintain the high humidity the Green Basilisks requires. The cage should be misted once a day. A large water bowl should be provided and cleaned as needed.



Heating and Lighting

Green Basilisks require a basking area with temperatures of 100 degrees F. Basking lamps are often placed toward the top of the enclosure with a shelf or branch that would allow the lizard to be about 12” below the light when basking. In addition, a full spectrum light is required to provide the lizard with UV. The recommended UVB light is a full-spectrum 10.0 fluorescent bulb that runs most of the length of the enclosure. The fixture can be placed inside the cage underneath the cover or on top of a mesh cover. If the fixture is placed on top of the cage, a glass cage cover should not be used, since the UVB will not penetrate through the glass. Fluorescent bulbs decrease in the amount of UVB emitted with time. It’s safest to replace the bulb every 6 months, though a more accurate schedule can be determined if a UV meter is purchased and used to check UV levels. The air temperature in the remainder of the enclosure should be in the 80’s during the day, and in the 70’s at night. In some climates, the Green Basilisk may require supplemental heat in the winter.


Food and Supplementation

Green Basilisks primarily eat a variety of bugs and worms including crickets, Dubia and other roaches, hornworms, silkworms and superworms. Feeders should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3. Adult Frilled Lizards may enjoy the largest Dubia roaches in addition to the bigger prey items.



*This care sheet contains only very basic information.  If you are new to Green Basilisks, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.




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